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NHRC notice to Uttar Pradesh government on spread of HIV in jails

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports claiming spread of HIV infection in UP jails, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to chief secretary and inspector general (prisons) seeking a detailed report within six weeks.

lucknow Updated: Mar 08, 2018 14:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
NHRC,National Human Rights Commission,UP jails
“In the tests conducted by the UP State AIDS Control Society in 70 jails, 265 prisoners were tested positive.”(Representative image)

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports claiming spread of HIV infection in UP jails, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to chief secretary and inspector general (prisons) seeking a detailed report within six weeks.

In a press release, deputy director (media and communications), NHRC, said the Commission had taken suo motu cognisance of media reports claiming 24 prisoners lodged in Gorakhpur jail had been tested HIV positive in the last four months.

“In the tests conducted by the UP State AIDS Control Society (UPSACS) in 70 jails, 265 prisoners were tested positive,” he said.

NHRC has asked the state government to submit a detailed report within six weeks along with the measures taken to deal with the situation.

Majority of cases have been reported from Bareilly, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Faizabad, Agra, Meerut, Varanasi and Kanpur.

The NHRC official said there was an urgent need to conduct a probe into the matter to determine the cause of the spread of HIV infection among prisoners. “Immediate preventive measures should be taken so that other prisoners do not fall prey to infection and those who are suffering are provided necessary medical treatment,” he said.

According to media reports, the Gorakhpur jail administration claimed that the disease did not spread inside jails and the prisoners were already infected when they arrived. Most of the infected prisoners have been jailed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

“In October last year, a camp was started on the initiative of Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society to conduct blood tests on the prisoners to detect HIV. Tests were conducted on more than half the prisoners lodged in various jails,” the NHRC officer said.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 14:10 IST